Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
"You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the lord your God" (Leviticus 19:34).
Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43). The Lord entrusts to the Church's motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.
This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience — from departure through journey to arrival and return.
This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.
... I wish to reaffirm that "our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate."
... Welcoming means... offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally... Protecting ... may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status.
Promoting ... means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees — as well as the communities which welcome them — are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings...
... Integrating ... concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.
The Holy Mother of God herself experienced the hardship of exile ..., lovingly accompanied her Son's journey to Calvary, and now shares eternally His glory. To her maternal intercession we entrust the hopes of all the world's migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them, so that, responding to the Lord's supreme commandment, we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.
(Source: Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, issued 8/15/17)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com